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Londonderry Bands Forum: Marching Bands Report

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 pm on 15th November 2016.

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Photo of Gary Middleton Gary Middleton DUP 3:15 pm, 15th November 2016

T6. Mr Middleton asked the Minister for Communities to outline his view on the recent publication of a report by the Londonderry Bands Forum in relation to marching bands. (AQT 491/16-21)

Photo of Paul Givan Paul Givan DUP

I have been in Londonderry, and my colleague has invited me on numerous occasions. There is one thing about the folk from the north-west: they are always keen to get you up there, and when they get you, it is very difficult to get away. I have met a number of groups. The Londonderry Bands Forum is one that I have met on numerous occasions, and it has demonstrated the positive impact that it has had in that community. It has taken bold steps and has broken down perceptions and barriers that might have existed between communities. It is an organisation that is doing excellent work, and the report demonstrated that.

I will be keen to take forward the work on this in recognising that via the Arts Council, which provides support to the Londonderry Bands Forum on a range of activities. Where the Member can keep making the case, I am keen to support that organisation in its work.

Photo of Gary Middleton Gary Middleton DUP

The Minister outlined a review into marching bands' funding. Will the Minister consider, as part of that review, the need for bands to have resource as well as capital funding made available?

Photo of Paul Givan Paul Givan DUP

That is an issue that I know is being raised, not least by the Member. I have asked my officials to engage with the forum, along with a range of stakeholders who have an interest in that area. This is something that will be given consideration in the discussions.